Canadian Telecommunications Association President & CEO Robert Ghiz: Opening Statement to the P.E.I. Standing Committee on Education and Economic Growth (en anglais seulement)

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Robert Ghiz, Canadian Telecommunications Association President & CEO
Opening Statement to P.E.I. Standing Committee on Education and Economic Growth

***Check Against Delivery***

Tuesday, February 13, 2024
1:30 p.m. AT

Good afternoon. My name is Robert Ghiz. I am President and CEO of the Canadian Telecommunications Association. Joining me today is our Senior Vice President, Eric Smith.

The Canadian Telecommunications Association is an industry association dedicated to building a better future for Canadians through connectivity. Our members include service providers, equipment manufacturers, and other organizations in the telecommunications ecosystem, that invest in, build, maintain and operate Canada’s world-class telecommunications networks.

Through our advocacy initiatives, research, and events, we work to promote the importance of telecommunications to Canada’s economic growth and social development, and advocate for policies that foster investment, innovation, and positive outcomes for consumers.

We are appearing today on behalf of our members Bell, Eastlink, and Rogers, each of which provide telecommunications services in Prince Edward Island.

As you are aware from our prior appearance before the Standing Committee, our Association welcomes the opportunity to engage with government on matters that are important to your constituents.

On the topic of this meeting, “Cellular Service and the Capacity of Infrastructure to Support the Increasing Population”, I will make just a few introductory comments before asking my colleague to take you through a brief presentation on mobile wireless service in the province.

First and foremost, I would like to assure the Standing Committee and all Islanders that our members operating in Prince Edward Island are aware of the concerns that have been raised about the quality of cell phone reception in areas of the province. They take these concerns seriously.

As part of their normal operating procedure, service providers regularly monitor the performance of their networks, observe changes in usage pattens, and review feedback from customers, so that if issues are identified, they can work to optimize the performance of their networks.

Actions taken can include making configuration changes on cell sites, realignment of radio antennas, or redirecting some traffic in the network.

They are also investing in upgrading cell sites to add capacity and utilize the newly acquired mid-band spectrum and 5G technologies.

Significant investments are also being made to improve network resiliency in response to the increase in severe weather events. These investments are being made today and will continue into the future.

In cases where the expansion or enhancement of network coverage are challenging for private investment alone, industry is also open to exploring partnerships with government to improve and expand wireless coverage to meet growing demands. We have seen these types of public/private partnerships work in other provinces.

I am now going to ask my colleague, Eric Smith, to take you through a short PowerPoint presentation that will provide additional information and expand upon some of the points I’ve made.

Before he begins, I’d like to thank you once again for the opportunity to discuss this important topic and I look forward to your questions after the presentation.